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  • Chris Stone

Visualising trade data


Harvard University's Atlas of Economic Complexity provides a great visualisation of the trade data for most countries. It should make learning about trade exploratory and fun.

Here are a couple of activities I have developed to use when teaching about Australia's trade in Year 9 Economics and Business.

Activity 1

Predict whether each of these ten statements about Australia’s trade are true or false.

  • Wheat is our largest agricultural export

  • Gold is our largest mineral export

  • Education is our largest service export

  • Goods exports and greater than service exports

  • Tourism is a major service export

  • Indonesia is the country to which we export most

  • The USA is the country from which we import most

  • China is the country that we trade with most

  • Our trade with the UK has decreased over the last 40 years

  • Most of our major trading partners are European countries

Then use the online version of The Atlas of Economic Complexity at: http://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/ to test whether your predictions were correct.

Activity 2

Choose a major country that you expect to have a similar pattern in its trade data (exports, imports and trading partners) to Australia.

Use the online version of The Atlas of Economic Complexity to test your prediction by comparing your chosen country with Australia.

Write a short report on the findings from your exploration.


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